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Is This Baby Name Really a Name?

I am pregnant with number 3. Our boy name is rock solid, easy, no questions. However, the girl name is hard. Recently the name Covie came to me. The problem is that I don't know if it's even really a name. I love it, though. Thoughts?

–Uncertain Mom

No, Covie is not traditional as a given name, surname, place name, or any other kind of established name. But is it "really" a name? It will be, if you give it to your daughter! After all, what makes a name a name is use. Writers have been inventing names for centuries, including now-familiar names like Amanda, Evangeline, Jessica, and Wendy. And parents have often chosen surnames and words to become first names, or adapted traditional names with nicknames or variants. So why not choose Covie for your daughter?

Since Covie will be unfamiliar, you may have to explain how to pronounce it (is it like "cohve-ee," or "cubby" with a "V"?). And you will be asked where it came from. Be ready to say you invented it, and own it! Shakespeare did it (often) and so can you.

Besides, I have a hunch people will like it as a name—a lot. It has a musical feel and includes a "V" sound, which is right on trend; consider the recent rise of names like Violet and Vivienne, or the staying power of Olivia.

The name also references the word "cove," which means a sheltered area along a shoreline. Think "pretty" and "protected," nice attributes for a name. There is also the word "covey," which means a small group, especially of birds. That's rather appropriate for the third baby in your family flock!


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May 4, 2015 5:31 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I like the sound of Covie.
My sister has an "invented" name, and has always been thankful that my parents went with the most phonetic spelling possible. It succinctly limits the amount of explaining she has to do.

Also, if it being a "real name" is for some reason important to you, I might suggest the name Jacoba, with the nickname "Cobie" which (I think) sounds a lot like the name you've created and is a very common name/nickname in Dutch culture. Whether you have any Dutch ancestry or not, this would be a very easy way to get around your "real name" concerns, and still get a name with a sound that you like.

Although really, I don't think you should let "realness" stop you from choosing a name you love!

May 4, 2015 5:53 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I like the idea of Jacoba/Cobie as an alternative.

If the OP isn't against unisex names, she could also do something Covington with Covie as the nickname.

TBH, I didn't think of cove or a covey of birds right away when I saw Covie. Instead, I thought of witch's coven. Perhaps the spelling Covey would be better (if that is the sound you are going for). It is a real word (and a lot of other nature names were real words). Because I already have an association for it, it doesn't make me think of the word coven.

May 5, 2015 12:08 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I like the idea of Cove with the nickname Covie. Cove is a nature name that is not invented (maybe unusual but it's a real word), easy to spell, easy to pronounce when reading it on paper. I also think it's sounds a little sturdier and less cutesy; something that would grow better with an adult. Good luck!

May 5, 2015 1:09 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I actually think Jacoba could conceivably just be shortened directly to Covie. The b to v sound change takes place in a number of different languages.

May 5, 2015 1:54 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I like a possibility of a name girls can use when are someday making a case to the Supreme Court and want to seem mature, AND a cool nickname only insiders get to use. How about a formal name of Covina- if that isn't a name, it seems like it is and its pretty...then Cobie is a logical nickname as others point out. There is Kobe Bryant, pronounced similarly. My daughter has a very feminine real name and a monosyllabic gender-neutral nickname and it really has served her well for all stages in life- the nickname was a baby name, rejected for the fem name in grade school when she was all pink and frilly, and back to the nickname in high school.

May 5, 2015 2:00 PM
By Rebekah B (not verified)

Covina is a city near LA, so it is a legitimate place name. I LOVE the idea of Cove with the nickname Covie however. It's unique, but not totally out there. Plus a cove just makes me think of tranquility, seclusion (in a good way) and beauty. That's a great name! Plus it has a unisex sound, which is pretty popular right now. Good luck!

May 5, 2015 10:57 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think of Covey, which is actually a surname. In Googling terms, Franklin Covey is an organizational company and a founder Stephen Covey authored "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," which is found at most libraries and popular through the 1990's. Very trim, just as legit as any name with a complimentary last name, no problem!

May 6, 2015 11:08 PM
By Julie (not verified)

There is a little boy in my daughters preschool class called "Covey" pronounced like cubby-with-a-v. He is cutie!

May 7, 2015 10:57 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

One of my teenage brother's friends is named Covey. I thought for a long time that he just went by his last name but it's actually his given name.

May 7, 2015 11:03 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

If you Google "Covie" you'll find people with it as a name, so I don't see why it's not considered a real name. And there is the surname Covey.

Jacoba is a good suggestion. It is the full name of the actress Cobie Smulders.

May 8, 2015 10:53 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

There are so many names with a long history that I don't see why people feel a need to make one up. I would hate to have a made-up name, and I think it makes the bearer look unsophisticated.

Perhaps you should go to Starbucks, tell them your name is Covie, and see what a mess they make of it.

May 8, 2015 1:02 PM
By Heidi (not verified)

The 2011 SSA name statistics lists 5 girls given the name Covey, which is similar. It was also used for boys at around the same frequency.

May 8, 2015 1:06 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think it's perfect (pronounced with a long "o," like in cove). A name is a name if it's a name to you and you make it a name. Simple as that. Who cares about anything or anyone else? You like it, you use it. I have long loved the name Cove for a girl, and this would be a perfect nickname to that. But Covie on its own is spectacular as well. Good choice!

May 8, 2015 1:07 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think it's perfect (pronounced with a long "o," like in cove). A name is a name if it's a name to you and you make it a name. Simple as that. Who cares about anything or anyone else? You like it, you use it. I have long loved the name Cove for a girl, and this would be a perfect nickname to that. But Covie on its own is spectacular as well. Good choice!

May 12, 2015 2:21 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Covie has a nice, old fashioned feel like Lovie (a form of Lova), the name of my great-great aunt. It definitely looks and feels like a real name. It doesn't look any less mature than Kelly or Holly so no need to lengthen it. She will make the name mature by being mature!

To the anonymous who said they would hate to have a made-up name, your name IS made up. ALL names are made up.

May 19, 2015 9:53 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Cove is a word for a man used usually only in negative contexts, I am surprised name lady didn't mention that? A much more frequent usage than for a flock of birds?

May 20, 2015 9:37 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think Covie is lovely! (Pronounced cove-ee not cuvie). I agree with the others, a formal first name seems best (to me). Jacoba nn Covie was by far my favorite. If you don't do it I will! Just kidding, but really. ;) Covina also is beautiful. Good luck!

September 22, 2016 9:32 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

We named our daughter Cove Taylor, we wanted to give her a unique name with a more common middle name in case she didn't like it as she got older. She is almost 12 years old and she loves her name. I couldn't imagine her being named anything different.

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